As I said in the talk on Sunday, we are so good at finding people to support and confirm what we want to do.
I usually have a good feeling for the type of advice people will give me. I know who will tell me just to get on with something and who will tell me to wait patiently. I know who will be over harsh and who will be maybe too gentle. So the comments a wise friend once made resonate with me.
“You can usually work out that someone has already decided their course of action based on the advice they seek out.”
We often go to people not to be challenged but to gain support for what we want to do. Even when we are challenged, we can be very quick to filter out the challenge and hear only what we want to hear.
Sin seeks out friends. It looks for support. That’s why you get gangs. That’s why you get people sitting in conversation with their pastor about a relationship decision using those two fatal justifications
“I’ve prayed about it”
“I’ve spoken to a few people and they are all okay with it.”
Amnon seeks out a friend in Jonadab (2 Samuel 13) and finds someone ready to encourage him into sin, to stroke his ego and to give him clever, wise sounding but ultimately foolish advice. Of course, one of the questions running through the chapter is whether or not Jonadab is a true or a false friend.
Are you being a true friend to someone who needs to be challenged, warned and encouraged in their faith.
Or are you being a false friend to them and a friend to sin? Are you encouraging someone in an ultimately destructive and self-destructive direction?
“Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
 Proverbs 27:6 (NLT).